The news yesterday that the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle was found in Boston alarmed those who care for some of the area’s most popular and beloved parks.
“Obviously we’re concerned,” said Audrey Rogerson, a spokeswoman for the Arnold Arboretum. “When it’s on your doorstop it raises your concern.”
The beetle was discovered in trees on the grounds of the Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, across the street from the 265-acre arboretum.
Native to China, the beetles have no known predators in America and are considered dangerous to certain trees. They are believed to have come into the country years ago in wooden packing crates from China.
Federal Department of Agriculture officials confirmed the beetles’ Boston invasion over the weekend and yesterday morning the six infected trees on the hospital grounds were removed and chipped.
To stop the spread, officials instituted a regulated zone that extends in a 1.5-mile radius around the hospital and are asking people not to bring wood or wood products out of area. Brookline park officials are asking residents to separate leafy material and yard waste from woody debris so it can be inspected by the town.
Rogerson said the public won’t notice any changes at the arboretum, despite federal agriculture officials surveying the trees: “We have a very important collection and we’re trying to preserve it,” she said.